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A slow-moving line of rain will soak central North Carolina between 4 a.m. and noon.
WRAL meteorologists Zach Maloch and Elizabeth Gardner said the chance for rain will increase as Thursday morning passes.
At 3:30 a.m., rain was already falling in western counties. Durham and Chapel Hill saw rain by 5 a.m., and by 6 a.m., heavy rain was in Raleigh and Cary.
A flood advisory is in effect for Wake, Durham, Chatham, Orange and Granville counties until 9 a.m. Isolated flooding will be likely as heavy rain moves into the area.
“By 9 a.m., we’ll still be tracking this rain, but it could be in our eastern counties,” Maloch said.
Maloch said the rain will move very, very slowly, falling at a rate of up to 1 or 2 inches an hour. Isolated flooding is the main concern with these heavy downpours. Because the system is slow-moving, it will remain fairly organized.
There’s a chance of some flooding in urban areas and locations where it may come down too quickly for the ground to handle.
More than 2,000 people lost power in the Triangle by 5 a.m., and saturated grounds and windy conditions will make the threat of downed trees and power outages worse as the day goes on. Conditions were especially poor west of the viewing area, especially in Charlotte, where water rescues were underway.
Strong winds could gust as fast as 45 or 50 mph Thursday morning, meteorologists said. Winds have already brought down trees in Raleigh, Cary and Apex, leaving some areas in the dark.
When it comes to heavy rain, Chapel Hill and Durham should be in the clear by 11 a.m., Raleigh at noon, and by 1 p.m., the heavy rain should be out of our area completely, Maloch said. However, scattered showers will be possible the rest of the day, and windy conditions could keep the risk for damages and power outages high.
After the severe weather moves away, scattered rain will be possible throughout the day Thursday.
The weekend is shaping up to be sunny and warmer with highs in the mid 70s on Saturday and mid 80s on Sunday before a chance of rain returns on Monday.